Campus Public Art Process
All proposed works of public art for the Ann Arbor campus—whether to adorn outdoor spaces, the façades of buildings, or the public lobbies of University buildings such as the Power Center and Hill Auditorium—must be reviewed and recommended by the President’s Advisory Committee on Public Art (PAConPA) or under principles and procedures developed by the Committee. The Committee reviews all proposed permanent and long-term temporary works of public art and forwards its recommendation for or against to the President of the University for a final decision. Short-term temporary installations of public art may be undertaken by departments of the University, following procedure established by the Committee.
Because many works of public art offer both logistical and technical challenges, particularly in their impact on facility issues, landscaping, hardscaping, and pedestrian traffic, the University Planner’s Office (UPO) and often the University’s Special Events Coordinator (SEC) must also be involved, except in instances where the work is to be sited in a public lobby. Banners and similar external decorations that do not have creative expression at their core, are not considered public art and do not require the approval of PAConPA but those installations do require coordination of the Exterior Elements Design Review Committee.
Because one of the goals of the PAConPA is to elevate the stature and volume of public art on the University campus, individual units are advised to contact the chair of the PAConPA early in the process of considering acceptance of a gift or undertaking a purchase, loan or commission of a new work of public art, or otherwise considering siting or re-siting an extant work of public art. Especially in the case of proposed gifts of public art, or dollar gifts to be used for the purchase or commission of a work of public art, units may not offer guarantees of acceptance to prospective donors before the PAConPA has considered, and ultimately the President has approved, a proposed work of public art.
Criteria for Acceptance, Including Preservation Needs
Please see the University’s Guidelines for Public Art for guidance on quality considerations that guide the PAConPA’s considerations. Included in these considerations is the expectation that all new works of public art recommended to the PAConPA by a University unit or the University at large will come with moneys for installation and to guarantee their future preservation and/or conservation. When the request comes from a University unit, that unit will be responsible for installation and for guaranteeing the work’s long-term preservation, regardless of the source of funds. For pieces on loan, the unit accepting the loan on behalf of the University is responsible for costs of maintenance and removal at the expiration of the loan, as well as for restoration of the site. Absence of such funds will be grounds for the PAConPA to recommend that a work not be accepted.
PAConPA organizes public art into three temporal categories: Events, Short-term Installations, and Long-term Installations. The processes for each category follows.
Events are defined as public art activities or set-ups that last 5 days or fewer. Such very short public art installations or activities are to be handled in the same manner as other outdoor public events, which require authorization by the Special Events Coordinator (SEC) of Facilities and Operations (F&O). The SEC has guidelines established for all designated outdoor common arears on the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor campus with the following exceptions: Central Campus Diag Proper, North Campus Eda U. Gerstacker Grove, Nichols Arboretum, Recreational Sports Field, and Athletic fields [Guideline For Use of The University Of Michigan Grounds – PDF] All events must also meet grounds guidelines, including amplification guidelines should sound be part of the installation event. The SEC will consult if necessary with PAConPA, but PAConPA will in general not undertake a review. The unit or organization mounting the event is responsible for all costs associated with the event, including site preparation, installation and deinstallation, and site restoration as needed.
Examples of public events include residence-hall outdoor activities, student organization activities, department or college outdoor activities on University grounds.
Proposals for events must be directed to the Special Events Coordinator in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations. Proposals must be submitted at least 3 weeks before the planned date of the event. A proposal form may be found at http://www.fo.umich.edu/guidelines/
Final note: Although PAConPA will not typically play an authorizing role in events sponsored by academic units or Student Life, the Committee is very much interested in knowing about such installations and in publicizing them on the Public Art website. The Committee is also available to artists, units, and organizations for consultation.
Short-term installations are defined as installations of public art lasting from 6 days to 6 months. PAConPA envisions that such installations will primarily be works of art created by U-M faculty and students in association with academic programs.
- Proposals for short- term installations will be submitted to the chair of PAConPA in care of the Special Counsel to the President at least 3 months before the planned date of installation. Once request is reviewed and approved it will be forward to Exterior Elements Design Review Committee (EEDR) for short term installation.
- Authorization for installations created by faculty, or by students in connection with an academic course or program, rests with the appropriate administrator of the academic unit with which the faculty or program is affiliated. The appropriate administrator will be a dean, director or department head. Approval by UPO is also required, with respect to safety, security, accessibility, and impact on property. The UPO will coordinate with the Special Events Coordinator to verify no conflicts with planned events for a given location. Exterior Elements Design Review Committee (EEDR) and UPO will be consulted for a review with respect to safety, security, accessibility, impact on property, and not on content.The academic unit authorizing the installation is responsible for all costs associated with the installation, removal and site restoration; the UPO will not authorize use of a site until funding has been guaranteed.
Instructors who wish to have their students’ class work exhibited are strongly encouraged to contact the UPO before the semester in which art is to be displayed. Typically, student art created in one semester will have to be exhibited in the subsequent semester unless class work exhibition is 5 days or less.
Authorization for installations created by students in connection with recognized student organizations rests with the Student Life. Approval by the UPO is also required, with respect to safety, security, accessibility, and impact on property. The UPO will coordinate with the Special Events Coordinator to verify no conflicts with planned events for a given location. Review by the Exterior Elements Design Review Committee (EEDR) will also be required, and will be coordinated by the UPO. The student organization is responsible for all costs associated with the installation, removal and site restoration; UPO will not authorize use of a site until funding has been guaranteed.
Long-term installations include both temporary and permanent installations of public art lasting 6 months or more.
Long-term installations may arise under three circumstances:
- An existing work is proposed as a gift or long term loan to a specific campus unit;
- A unit desires to purchase an existing work of public art with donor or institutional funds; or
- A unit desires to commission a work of public art with donor or institutional funds.
General processes applicable to all circumstances of long-term installations:
- PAConPA welcomes proposals from University schools, colleges, departments, units, faculty, students, and staff. Proposals from individuals or organizations from outside of the University should be made in collaboration with a University partner.
- The school, college, department or unit sponsoring the installation is responsible for all costs, including acquisition of the artwork and any fees related to commissions, site preparation, transportation, installation, removal, site restoration, and maintenance. Installation of a work will not be approved without a clear commitment of funds, including a plan for funding ongoing maintenance of the work.
- Proposals for long term installations must be submitted to the chair of PAConPA in care of the Special Counsel to the President at least 6 months before the planned date of installation.
- In cases where the request relates to outdoor siting (including on the façade of a University building), either the unit making the request or the chair of the PAConPA will alert the UPO of the request. Since the University Planner serves on the PAConPA, coordination of the request can be streamlined in most instances.
- Where the requesting unit does not have a preferred site in mind, or where that site has been determined to be unacceptable or impractical by either the PAConPA or the UPO, the unit may request the assistance of the PAConPA and/or the UPO to determine an appropriate site. Use of priority sites as identified by PAConPA is encouraged.
- Once the chair of the PAConPA has determined that the request is ready for the full Committee’s consideration, it will go forward at the next available Committee meeting. In instances of particular time pressure, the chair may send the request to the Committee electronically or via hard copy, between meetings, although there is no guarantee that this can be done.
- The Committee will weigh proposals against criteria established in the Guidelines for Public Art. Typically, one of three outcomes is achieved:
- The Committee recommends acceptance of the work, and the chair makes such a recommendation in writing to the President.
- The Committee recommends that the work not be accepted, and the chair makes that recommendation in writing to the President.
- The Committee determines that the proposed work is not yet ready for recommendation (for or against) and goes back to the requesting unit for further information or with requests for revision (e.g., changes to the work, the design, the concept, or the proposed site). In this event, it is the responsibility of the requesting unit to proceed as it wishes to seek to resolve the requests coming back from the Committee. Once these needs are met, the unit may come back to the Committee at any time with a revised request.
- Once the President has communicated his/her decision on the recommendation back to the PAConPA chair, the chair will convey that determination to the requesting unit, the UPO, and the PAConPA.
- Typically from this point, logistical matters relating to proposals ultimately accepted by the President will be coordinated between the requesting unit and the UPO. Where the requesting unit wishes to have a dedication or other public event once the work has been sited, the unit will inform the chair of the PAConPA so that such events can be coordinated for maximum or most beneficial visibility.
- The UPO will assist with coordination of the installation of outdoor works, but will not be responsible for transportation, installation, relocation or removal costs, or costs of site restoration, which will be borne by the unit – see appendix for detailed description of installation process. Units installing works of public art in public lobbies are advised to seek the professional guidance of the Museum of Art.
- For works on loan, the loan agreement or contract must be reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel and then signed by a University official with proper authority to sign such an agreement.
- Outdoor works will require plaques (e.g., donor plaques, identifying plaques, or interpretive information) consistent with guidelines established by PAConPA and must be coordinated with the UPO to assure compliance with standard campus guidelines relative to outdoor signage. The cost of the plaque is to be borne by the sponsor of the artwork.
- The requesting unit must inform the University’s Office of Risk Management of all new works of public art as siting is undertaken, in order to provide insurance coverage as appropriate, and must provide PAConPA with documentation of the response from Risk Management.
- Once sited, no work of public art may be moved without notifiying and achieving the consent of the PAConPA and the UPO relative to a new proposed site.
- Concerns about the condition of extant works of public art should be referred to the PAConPA. Expertise relative to preservation and/or conservation may be available from the staff of the Museum of Art, whose registrar may be consulted at any time. However, the costs of preservation and/or conservation, and the responsibility for routinely (annually) monitoring works of public art relative to condition, remain the responsibility of the requesting unit.
In the circumstance where a unit desires to purchase an existing work with donor or institutional funds :
- Gifts may be solicited and received with the express purpose of purchasing a work of art for public display. In addition, there may be times when institutional funds or a combination of gift and institutional funds are dedicated for the purpose of purchasing a work of public art. PAConPA encourages this activity and has prepared a list of preferred artists and sites for public works. Other artists and sites may be proposed but units are encouraged to reference PAConPA’s list.
- Units are encouraged to consult the chair of PAConPA early in the process of soliciting and or dedicating funds for this purpose. In addition to recommending artists and sites, the Chair from PAConPA working with Procurement can advise the unit regarding estimates for installation costs as well as recommending external consultants when it is deemed useful in facilitating the gift, purchase and installation of the art.
- After a work has been tentatively identified for purchase and installation at a specific site, a proposal can proceed to PAConPA for consideration and recommendation to the President under the processes described above. If recommended by PAConPA and approved by the President, the purchase and installation of work will be up to the unit, working closely with UPO and any external consultants under the process generally described above.
In the circumstance where a unit desires to commission a work of public art with donor or institutional funds :
- In addition to the general process for long term installations outlined above, units or other members of the University may have an interest in commissioning a work of public art using donor or institutional funds. This may or may not be part of a capital project. Typically, commissions will come either with funding attached or, failing that, with a funding plan. Only in the most exceptional circumstances will the PAConPA be able to work with interested units or individuals to identify possible funding and/or a funding plan, until such time as a centralized funding mechanism for works of public art may come into existence.
- The PAConPA is prepared to consult with interested units or individuals on possible commissions and to help in identifying suitable artists or avenues for identifying such artists. However, the work to be done in contacting artists, negotiating terms, negotiating initial design proposals, etc., will reside with the proposing unit or individual. Once a proposed design for such a commission has been achieved, it will enter the review process described above.
- In the event of commissioned work, the requesting unit will be required to remain in contact with the PAConPA throughout the commissioning process in order to assure that the work remains consistent with the proposal approved by the President and to assure quality control (see process described below). Significant changes to the approved proposal will require subsequent review(s) by the PAConPA, which may result in a revised recommendation to the President, including recommendation that the work not go forward.
Process for installation of public art pieces – temporary and permanent
The first step in the process to install a work of public art anywhere on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campuses, whether permanent or temporary, is for the proposal to be submitted to the President’s Advisory Committee for Public Art (PAConPA).
Once a work of art has been approved for placement on campus by PAConPA, the following process shall be followed to insure secure installation of the art work, protection of the public during installation, and preservation of the university grounds. Each step must be completed before moving on to the next. In order to provide ample time for planning, the process for installation outlined below should begin 4-6 months before the desired date of installation.
- PAConPA or the school/college/department/unit responsible for placing the art work (“requesting unit”) will provide basic information on the proposed installation to the University Planner’s Office (UPO) for further review. Information shall include detailed measurements of the piece, the materials it is fabricated from, its weight, the proposed location for installation (with site plan), and photographs of the piece. This constitutes the minimal information needed for EEDR review. This information may be provided using PAConPA’s “Proposal for installation of Public Art” form.
- If the art work will be applied/installed on the exterior of a building (such as vinyl decals on windows) or near a particular building or in a building courtyard, or in a public lobby of a building, then support from the appropriate administration of that building needs to be provided (e.g., dean or department head).
- UPO will investigate proposed site for utilities, trees, location of city right-of-ways (ROW), sidewalks, or other impediments.
- The project will then be presented to the Exterior Elements Design Review Committee (EEDR) by PAConPA or a representative of the requesting unit for site review as well as input on respect to safety, security, accessibility, impact on property, and not on content.
- At least two months before the planned date of installation, details must be received from the artist or the artist’s representative providing specific information on method of delivery and installation. This should include (preferably compiled on a site logistics plan) details on:
- how the object will be transported, including what kind of trucks will be used
- how the object will be assembled if in multiple sections
- how the site will be accessed
- use of cranes
- street and/or sidewalk closures needed
- how the object will be installed, i.e., details on foundations, footings, etc.
- name of company that will be handling the delivery and installation, with contact information
- The UPO, along with Plant Operations, will disseminate the information received from the artist or artist’s representative for review to:
- Grounds (Associate Director of Building Services and Grounds/Grounds’ Construction Project Manager) for site landscape issues, irrigation impacts
- AEC-A&E (Manager of Architectural Services) for structural integrity of proposed footings/foundation
- AEC-A&E/Civil (Civil Engineers) for impacts requiring coordination with the city (lane closures, sidewalk closures, ROW impacts) and for site utility impacts.
- AEC-A&E (Code Specialist) for code issues
- OSEH (Executive Director of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health) for safety issues and (Fire Marshall) for fire safety issues if applicable
- ADA Coordinator (Ada Coordinator) for ADA issues
- DPS (Lieutenant Specialist) for security
- Parking & Transportation (Transportation Manager) for impacts on bus stops
- Others as deemed necessary by the UPO
- The requesting unit will be responsible for any necessary coordination with the city as directed by the UPO. Only after all issues have been addressed to the satisfaction of the UPO and Plant Operations can a date for installation be scheduled. At least 5 business days notice to UPO will be required before delivery.
- The requesting unit will issue a Work Request to Plant Operations to supervise the installation. If applicable, the work request shall also direct Plant to provide the footings or foundation for the piece. If utilities are known to be in the area, Plant Operations will contact Miss Dig to have all utilities identified on site ( 5 business days’ notice required). Work requests to Plant Operations should be issued a minimum of four weeks in advance of installation date.
- On date(s) of installation, a representative of the requesting unit who can make decisions on issues that arise shall be on-site at all times. The installers and the requesting unit will be responsible for site clean-up and landscape repair following installation.
- In the instance of a temporary installation, the requesting unit will be responsible for making arrangements with Plant Operations for site restoration after the object is removed. Site restoration plans must be approved by the UPO and Grounds.
- The requesting unit is responsible for all costs involved in the shipment, delivery, installation, removal of the art object, and site repair. The requesting unit is responsible for ensuring that all non-university personnel working on delivery and installation are properly insured. The requesting unit also accepts all responsibility for the secure installation of the art object and for any damage to the object, site or any nearby buildings and structures that may result from wind, vibrations or any other source.